Monaco will travel to Stade de la Meinau to face Strasbourg in the Round 29 of Ligue 1 competition, on 10th of March, Saturday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:45 pm GMT.
The home side are going through a difficult situation in the league, losing 3 of their last 5 games. Strasbourg are currently sitting in the 15th position of the league table, just three points safe from the relegation zone. The latest loss by the hands of Caen in their last week’s away game has undoubtedly dented their confidence, as they have to deal with the French giants this Saturday.
Thierry Laurey’s men are having one of their worst seasons, as they have just registered 8 wins from 29 league games. The third worst goal difference record in the league has shown clearly about their unbalanced defensive system. Furthermore, the lack of converting the chances into goals has haunted Strasbourg pretty severely. If the back-line problem is not timely confronted, it will be a mighty hell of a task for them to stop the rampant Monaco attack.
Monaco, on the other hand, are sitting currently at the second position in the league table. The defending champions are going with a good rhythm lately with 4 wins from their last 5 league games. However, the fight for the league title is all but over for the Monegasques, as PSG are running riot with the 14 points lead at the top.
The smooth passage for the Champions League is all they care about right now. With Marseille and Lyon following them from behind, Monaco cannot afford to let this game slip through their hands.
The star-led attack has helped Monaco to snatch 60 points from 28 league games including 18 wins and 4 defeats. Radamel Falcao alongside Stevan Jovetic and Keita Blade are among the scores for the club. The Colombian goal machine is leading the pack with 17 goals from 20 games.
The major problem for Leonardo Jardim’s men is their inconsistent defense. The back-line has looked fragile time and again and needs a serious consideration ahead of the important league phase. However, they will look to solidify their spirit ahead of the next game, coming from a 2-1 home victory against Bordeaux, in their last league sitting.
Key Players To Watch
The Ivory Coast midfielder has been by far the best performer for Strasbourg in the on-going season. He is the top goal scorer for the club with 5 goals and has looked solid in the midfield time and again. With his strength and competitive skills in front of the ball, Aholou indeed will be the key man for the home side against Monaco.
Midfielder Lopes is having a terrific season for Monaco, with 8 goals 4 assists so far in his name. He definitely poses a threat for the Strasbourg side as he comes fresh from his back to back league game goals. Because of his pace and accurate passing ability, Strasbourg defense will have to be at their very best to avoid mounting damage.
Head To Head
These two French sides have played 25 games against each other; Monaco are leading the bout with 16 wins. Monaco have dominated the last three meetings between these clubs, winning all of these games and scoring 8 goals in the process.
The last league meeting ended in a 3-0 convincing win for the defending champs, with the goals from Rony Lopes and Radamel Falcao (2).
Trembling loss from the hands of Caen in their last league game has created a headache for Laurey to manage his starting lineup. He will certainly juggle his lineup to surge forward from the current disappointment.
With dismal show by the attacker Stephane Bahoken in his last game, Jeremy Blayac could make his way back to the starting lineup in place of him. Defender Kader Mangane is still recovering from his injury and will be sidelined for the Saturday’s game.
Monaco will be boosted by the return of their star forward, Radamel Falcao. However, he is still doubtful to make his way back to the starting lineup and is expected to start from the bench.
Similarly, midfielder Adama Traore will miss the bout with the groin injury. Steven Jovetic is expected to lead the attack for the defending champs, thanks to his sublime goal-scoring form lately.
Strasbourg vs Monaco Lineup (Predicted XI)
Strasbourg Lineup (4-4-2)
Defenders: Foulquier (RB), Kone (RCB), Martinez (LCB), Lala (LB)
Midfielders: Martin (RM), Corgnet (CM), Aholou (CM), Lienard (LM)
Forwards: Blayac (RS), Terrier (LS)
AS Monaco Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Defenders: Sidibe (RB), Raggi (RCB), Jemerson (LCB), Jorge (LB)
Midfielders: Moutinho (RDM), Fabinho (LDM), Ghezzal (RM), Lemar (CM), Lopes (LM)
Forwards: Jovetic (ST)
Strasbourg vs Monaco Prediction
This fixture looks easy in the papers for Monaco with the recent form they are having. The defending champs will look to entice the spectators with sublime attacking football and expected goal fest. However, the ability of Strasbourg to raise their game against quality opposition could play a crucial role in their fight for resilience.
Strasbourg will need to perform above their best to gain some composure against their strong opposition. We expect Monaco to cruise past the home side with a 3-1 emphatic win in their own backyard.